Remember game demos? Once upon a time, you could try just about any game before buying, usually by downloading a playable demo version that would give you the first level or two.
You don't see that much anymore, but EA just resurrected the concept in a big way: You can play Battlefield 4 (Win) free for an entire week. And not just a few levels, but the entire game -- single-player, multiplayer, and all.
It works like this: You'll need an Origin account and the free Origin desktop client. (If you grabbed EA's latest On the House giveaway, Wing Commander III, earlier this week, you're all set.) Then you just add Battlefield 4 to your library. You've got until Aug. 14 to complete that step.
Your one-week trial, however, begins the first time you launch the game. So if you're busy the next few days and don't get a chance to start playing until, say, next Wednesday, no problem: your week starts that day.
For those unfamiliar with the title, Battlefield 4 was among the most celebrated first-person shooters of 2013, earning a GameSpot score of 8 and legions of online players. Suffice it to say, if you enjoy blistering multiplayer warfare, you're in for an exciting week.
It's probably worth noting that EA also has various Battlefield games on sale, including this very version for $19.99 (normally $29.99).
My question for you folks: any PC gamers left out there? I've always preferred PCs to consoles, especially for games like this, because keyboard/mouse controls blow game controllers out of the water. Granted, you need some pretty high-end hardware if you want all the visual bells and whistles, and I'm curious how many gamers are still keeping up.
Bonus deal: Speaking of extended trials, SharewareOnSale has Norton AntiVirus 2014 for free -- for six months. Me, I don't bother with third-party security software like this, but for users who aren't especially Internet-savvy and need robust, commercial-grade protection, this is a worthwhile get. What to do six months from now? Hey, that's 2015's problem.
Bonus deal No. 2: Whether you're looking to back up your DVD library or convert those shiny platters to a smartphone/tablet-friendly format, you'll need a DVD ripper. Like this one: For a limited time, Digiarty Software is once again giving away MacX DVD Ripper Pro. (Don't let the name throw you; it's available for both Mac and Windows.)